About HIV

Living with HIV

Know Your Status

The first step to knowing of you are HIV-positive is to get tested. You can have and spread HIV without showing any symptoms. If you test positive, AIDS Alabama can assist you with getting a medical appointment so you can start treatment which can help you live a healthy life.

Testing services are available at AIDS Alabama. Click here for more information about our testing services and locations.

Get in Care

Getting medical care is crucial if you are HIV-positive. Though there is no cure for HIV, with proper treatment you can live a long, healthy life and reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to others.

AIDS Alabama can refer you to an HIV provider. If you have a regular doctor, you can discuss with them about whether they can lead your HIV care or would refer you to an HIV specialist they work with.

Start Treatment

Your healthcare provider will discuss medication options with you. The most common type of medication for treatment of HIV is antiretroviral treatment or ART.

ART is recommended for all HIV-positive individuals. ART cannot cure HIV, but it can control the virus so that your risk of transmitting HIV to others is reduced, and so that you can live a longer, healthier life.

Stay in Care

It is very important that once you start HIV treatment, you stay on HIV treatment.

For HIV medications to be effective, you must take them every day, exactly as prescribed, in order to prevent the HIV virus from multiplying. Skipping doses allows the virus to multiply which increases the risk of drug-resistant HIV developing.

If you have a barrier that prevents you from taking your HIV medication as prescribed or seeing your doctor regularly, it is important that you consult your provider or AIDS Alabama so that we can assist you. Find out more about our case management services in our What Can We Do for You section.

Keeping HIV under Control

HIV is a chronic health condition that has no cure at this time. But with proper care and treatment, you can lead a long and healthy life!

Getting diagnosed early, taking ART medications, and continuing to take HIV medications regularly means that you can become virally suppressed. Viral suppression means having the HIV virus reduced to an undetectable level in your body. This does not mean you are cured (the virus is still in your body!), but it does mean that the virus is controlled so that it is unable to multiply and destroy your immune system.